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The Goods: Gut check time

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks

You want to know what happened in the Canucks game and you want to know now. We get it. Here’s the bare bones recap of Vancouver’s 7-4 loss to Chicago in Game 4 of their Western Conference Semifinal.

IT WAS OVER WHEN...

…Moments after Andrew Alberts returned from the ice after serving a holding minor, Marian Hossa let a shot fly from the Vancouver blueline that Roberto Luongo got the best of, but he was unable to wrangle the rebound allowing Tomas Kopecky to score Chicago’s sixth goal in a 7-4 win.

Game 4 started with a Brent Seabrook goal 18 seconds in as the sky appeared to be falling early for the Canucks, yet they replied with a Kyle Wellwood score 1:16 later to even the score at 1-1.

A pair of power play goals rounded out the first period with Jonathan Toews potting the first of four Blackhawks special teams goals. The comeback Canucks responded again, also on the power play, with Daniel Sedin scooping a loose puck past Antti Niemi.

A four-goal opening frame was matched with a four-goal middle stanza, unfortunately for the Canucks three of the goals went to the Blackhawks, all on the power play. Patrick Sharp struck once, while Toews rounded out his first career hat trick with a pair of scores. Alex Edler got one back for the Canucks late to cut the lead to 5-3.

Kopecky’s goal early in the third all but flattened the Canucks, who got one more puck past Niemi, courtesy of Henrik Sedin. The Blackhawks added insult to injury with Dave Bolland scoring an empty net goal with 37 seconds to play.

Vancouver’s inability to clutch up in this crucial Game 4 is nothing new, the Canucks have now lost four straight and seven of their last eight Game 4’s at home.

Down but not out, Alex Burrows said it best: “It’s a great opportunity for our group to come back and do something special and that’s what we’ve got to focus on now.”

CLUTCH CANUCK

Henrik Sedin had a solid offensive outing, despite it being overshadowed by the final score.

Hank had a goal and an assist for his fourth multi-point game of the playoffs; his goal with 5:23 to play in the game was too little, too late, but it upped his career post-season goal total to 17, the assist boosted his overall points to 42 in 63 playoff games with the Canucks.

Daniel Sedin also stepped up with a goal and an assist to give both Sedins at least a point for the seventh time this post-season, unfortunately the Canucks fall to 5-2 when they both hit the scoresheet in the same game.

UNSUNG HERO

Alex Burrows hasn’t been himself this post-season, he’s struggled mightily to find his scoring touch, but on this night he was back to old form.

Goals were tough to come by again for Burrows, but he played a heads up game and earned both his points.

His first helper came as a result of driving to the net hard down the right wing, his shot was stopped but Daniel Sedin was able to convert the rebound. Assist No. 2 had Burrows tear behind the Chicago net before backhanding a pass to Henrik Sedin for a quick one-timer.

Burrows now has four points (2-2-4) in 10 games matching his career high from a season ago.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

No recipe for success calls for 12 goals against in two games.

The Canucks have been unable to contain the explosive offence of the Blackhawks to the tune of 17 goals against in the series, one less than the Los Angeles Kings scored on Vancouver in six games earlier this post-season.

The last time the Canucks gave up 12 goals in two games in playoffs was in the 2003 Western Conference Semifinal when the Minnesota Wild scored an even dozen between games 5 and 6 en route to a 3-1 comeback series win.

FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Roberto Luongo on Vancouver’s lack of discipline, if the Canucks were bucked off their game and the nightmare start:

”There’s no explanation. We lost our composure again, I don’t know why it happened, we talked about it, we were all on the same page before the game started and I don’t know, one thing led to another and we lost our composure again in the second period there.

”We want to play our game, that’s what made us successful, we all saw what it was in the first game, and for some reason, I don’t know if it’s playing game after game, guys start to get under guy’s skin, but we all know what our game looks like when we’re playing it and right now I don’t know exactly what we’re doing.

”Yeah, it was a tough one. Seabrook was all alone in the slot and he released a quick shot, I was trying to get down as soon as I could and I got a big chunk of it, I thought I had it but it snuck in there.”

NEXT UP

Do or die.

The season hangs in the balance for the Canucks as they trail the Blackhawks 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. Game 5 is set for Sunday evening in Chicago; stay focused on the game, but don’t forget its Mother’s Day.

A win for mom would be the sweetest gift of all. I’m sure she’d agree.

SERIES

3-1 Blackhawks, Game 5 Sunday

Inside the Game
 
NUMB3RS

2 – Assists for Alex Burrows; he has four points this post-season to match a career-high.

4 – Points for the Sedins; Vancouver's falls to 5-2 when each Sedin hits the scoresheet in the game same.

4 – Consecutive Game 4 losses on home ice for Vancouver.

20 – Hits for the physical Canucks, they outhit the Hawks by 10.

27 – Saves by Roberto Luongo.

QUOTABLE

“It’s a great opportunity for our group to come back and do something special and that’s what we’ve got to focus on now."

-Alex Burrows (on a major comeback)

“We're not getting the kills we need. Other than that, we're close. We have to be stronger mentally."


-Henrik Sedin (on the loss)

“I’m not making excuses, we didn’t play good enough and they beat us pretty badly again. It’s do or die now and if you can’t get fired up for that…"

-Shane O'Brien (on do or die)

“I think right now he’s the second best goaltender on the ice. He can better, he wil be better."

-Alain Vigneault (on the play of Luongo)

OFFENCE

You'd think four goals would be enough to at least scare the opposition, but this Blackhawks team has the firepower to match.

The Sedins had two points each, as did Alex Burrows.

Vancouver was outshot by Chicago 34-30.

DEFENCE

The speedy Chicago forwards were simply too swift for Vancouver's blueliners at times and that led to Chicago scoring chances.

Roberto Luongo has allowed 11 goals in his last two starts.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Canucks were 2-for-4 on the power play; the Blackhawks finished 4-for-8.

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